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How Trump's Syria strike could affect North Korea, Egypt attacks must not divide Christians and Muslims, Improving protection of older people's rights, Investing in STEM education can aid development, Are citizens of a democracy obligated to vote?

A roundup of global commentary for the April 24, 2017, weekly magazine.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, waves while Kim Yong Nam, second left, Choe Ryong Hae, left, Pak Pong Ju, center, and Hwang Pyong So, fourth left, clap during a military parade to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung, the country's late founder and grandfather of current ruler Kim Jong Un, on Saturday, April 15, in Pyongyang, North Korea.
Wong Maye-E/AP
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  • Monitor editors

The Independent / London

How Trump's Syria strike could affect North Korea 

"The bombing of one of Bashar al-Assad’s airfields must have sent premonitions through the minds of Kim Jong-un and his generals: they could be next," states an editorial. "The deployment of significant American naval assets to the South China Sea must also represent evidence to the North Korean leadership that Donald Trump wants to send a message to all of his nation’s enemies in the world: don’t mess with America.... The more the North Koreans believe he might [bomb North Korea], the more circumspect they ought to be. After all, if America can wipe out the leadership of the so-called Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at a stroke, then Mr Kim will think twice before he lobs another missile towards South Korea or Japan." 

The Jordan Times / Amman, Jordan

Egypt attacks must not divide Christians and Muslims

"Christians in the Middle East look to Egypt as a fine example of religious tolerance and harmony between two monotheistic religions, but if this relationship that withstood the test of time is damaged, the fallout can reach other countries in the region where Christians have been living side by side with the majority Muslim population for generations," states an editorial. "This Muslim-Christian coexistence ... must be preserved and promoted at all costs.... Laws in Arab countries must criminalise all acts of hostility or hatred between the two faiths.... Schools must inculcate religious tolerance and harmony.... Only in an all-embracing society where ‘the other’ is accepted and religious hatred is criminalised can security and development happen."

South China Morning Post / Hong Kong 

Improving protection of older people's rights 

"Our senior citizens are often seen as a burden to society," states an editorial. "But they have the right to lead a dignified life like anyone else.... Singapore requires employers to offer jobs to eligible people for five more years after they reach retirement age. In the US, a mandatory reporting system on elderly abuse is in place. All these are still alien to our society.... Decades of discussions have failed to produce any consensus on outlawing age discrimination.... Whether legislation is the best way to go is a matter for further discussion. But our elderly citizens will benefit if more residential and day care services are made available quickly." 

The East African / Nairobi, Kenya

Investing in science and technology education can aid development 

"Smart and timely investments in human capital will play the central role in shaping the trajectory of African nations in the coming decades...," write Keith Hansen, Fred Matiang’i, and Lutz Ziob. "Without a greater supply of homegrown talent in areas such as agriculture, energy, extractive industries, construction, manufacturing, and information and communications technology, it will be hard to build prosperous, inclusive, and resilient economies that can compete and succeed globally. Countries with deep development challenges – including China, India, and Korea – have gained enormously from building science and technology capacity.... In Africa, a rebalancing in higher education towards the applied sciences, engineering and technology has been long overdue." 

The Nassau Guardian / Nassau, Bahamas 

Should citizens of a democracy feel obligated to vote? 

"Voting is an important part of the democratic process," states an editorial. "However, voting should not be confused with democracy. Democracy is about self-governance. As citizens, we have a responsibility to do this every day – not just every five years. By working at a charity, providing assistance to the homeless, democracy is at work; by volunteering as a mentor at a school, democracy is at work; by raising an educated, hardworking law-abiding citizen, democracy is at work.... Elections are important; voting is important. But ... you can exercise your democratic power every day by doing something to build the community."